Airplane mechanic crushed in Anchorage

Posted: Sunday, December 03, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An airplane mechanic died in Anchorage after he was crushed beneath the plane he was working on, police said Friday.

The wife of Mark Alan Mildren, 32, found him dead inside a hangar after she failed to reach him by phone Thursday night and went to check on him around midnight. She last spoke to him at about 6:30 p.m., police spokesman Ron McGee said.

It's unclear how Mildren became pinned under the Beechcraft 99 inside Transnorthern Aviation's hangar at the Lake Hood float plane base. The body was found underneath the back section of the nine-seat plane, according to McGee.

Police have reported the accident to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, McGee said.

Andrea Larson, an owner of Northern Aviation, said Mildren was an attentive, conscientious worker who was hired over the summer.

Larson was at a loss to explain how the accident could have occurred. She said the twin-engine craft was not on jacks when Mildren was inspecting the landing gear.

''All we know is that the airplane fell on him,'' Larson said.

''It was a freak accident.''

The company, which provides charter flights and medivacs, is setting up a trust fund for Mildren's wife and 3-year-old son, Larson said. Details were still being worked out with National Bank of Alaska Friday afternoon.

''He was a nice young man,'' Larson said. ''He was very careful, a very safe guy.''

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